Friday, October 07, 2011

Target Practice

The Drug War continues under President Obama. The first signal that there would be none of the change he promised during his campaign was his administration's refusal to reclassify marijuana from the dangerous drug listing. The second is the announcement that medical marijuana dispensaries are being targeted for closure here in California.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Federal prosecutors in California are threatening to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state, sending letters to warn landlords to stop sales of the drug within 45 days or face the possibility that their property will be seized and they will be sent to prison.

The stepped-up enforcement appears to be a major escalation in the Obama administration’s bid to rein in the explosive spread of medical marijuana outlets that was accelerated by the announcement that federal prosecutors would not target people using medical marijuana in states that allow it. ...

The latest letters have baffled the state’s medical marijuana activists, who believe the president has broken his word. “Obama says, ‘Yes.’ The conservatives say, ‘No.’ So they get together and huddle and they settle on no,” said William G. Panzer, an Oakland lawyer who helped draft the state’s medical marijuana initiative. “The Obama administration has been incredibly disappointing on this issue.”

What is so infuriating about this move is that while dispensary growth did sky rocket in California, the state and local authorities had already stepped in and shuttered those too close to schools and parks, investigated "pot docs" who were writing the necessary "recommendations" without examining those requesting the script once the requisite "fee" was paid and referred them to the disciplinary boards, and enforced the rules for how much marijuana could be grown for medical purposes by each outlet. The state was keeping its end of the bargain.

This is a new policy, one that quite probably came as some kind of deal made with unhappy conservatives. And it's a deal that targets all dispensaries, not just those which don't comply with state law, something Obama promised wouldn't happen. That means people undergoing chemotherapy won't be able to obtain the pot that quells the nausea which accompanies such treatment. Those with AIDS who also depend on marijuana to assist in keeping weight on will also be shut out. Their only choice now is the dangerous one of depending on street dealers.

This isn't just a war on drugs, it's also a war on science, which has found that marijuana does in fact provide some medical benefits, something which the boneheads in the White House refuse to acknowledge.

A pox on them and on their misguided and antiquated policy.



Blogger John Gardner said...

on this one, i (shock!) agree completely with you. I guess my partial libertarian streak kicks in on the war on drugs. Most of it has been a giant bust, (pun not intended, but ha!) especially on the marijuana front. that's a lot of wasted tax dollars spent on enforcement, instead of some (a lot?) of tax revenue incoming that you would get from taxing the sale like they do on cigarettes.

8:51 AM  
Blogger GRP said...

The reversal of the onus of proof in drug-possession cases is incompatible with the rule of law and is therefore unconstitutional in ALL jurisdictions.


7:27 PM  

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